It is two weeks since I left corporate life! Perhaps I am still in the honeymoon period but I certainly feel life is grand! There is nothing wrong with corporate life, but having lived it for thirty years and in the final third of my working life, a change seemed like a good idea, and I am finding it so in practice!
Firstly – You are your product, and unless you test the market you will never know what
you might be worth. People who have been employed all their lives and especially with one employer, may secretly doubt whether they would be worth as much elsewhere and are afraid to find out. This immediately puts you on the back foot, and if you never test the market, the seeds of doubt will grow. Testing the market is worthwhile and you have nothing to lose.
Secondly – You are unique! There probably is no other person offering the same combination of skills, experience and personal attributes as you! There might be other L&D managers but are there many, or any, who have also run a P & L account, developed data protection compliance projects, practiced bereavement counselling and lived and worked in Africa? Somewhere there will be an employer who needs just that combination.
And thirdly – You don’t need to do just one thing. Portfolio careers are becoming more common and not just careers with a history of different consecutive challenges but different concurrent ones! I have two Non –executive director roles, one in the NHS and one in a limited company, I have a coaching business and work with clients who possess diverse skills and are from diverse backgrounds, helping them to thrive in corporates with strong cultures of their own. I also consult with companies on their diversity projects and have just started some work with UN Women on their corporate connections and Women’s Empowerment Principles. Finally I am fulfilling a long held ambition to study with my MA course in Psychological Coaching. All of this variety is great, but more than that I find that each activity enriches and informs the other and all are enriched by my
long corporate experience.
This week I spent two days at HRD 2012, the CIPD’s learning and development event at Olympia, working with The NLP School (http://www.nlpschool.com). It was a brilliant two days , all of us on the stand constantly busy answering enquiries about NLP, conducting taster sessions for the curious and enjoying stories from existing practitioners who use their NLP skills in daily and professional life. I really enjoyed exercising my NLP muscles – but also found that all of my other occupations and experience came up in conversations and illustrations over the course of the two days. It was a specialist event, but full of diverse applications. For me – variety is the spice of life! How about you?